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Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), pronounced “Quadros” is ordered by the court to initiate proceedings for dividing benefits under a retirement plan.

The divorce court enters a QDRO to assign retirement plan benefits to a spouse or an ex-spouse. The recipient of the benefit is known as the alternate payee. The QDRO elaborates on the benefits that will go to the alternate payee, timing of payment of benefits, nature of benefits – one time payments or annuities, and status of payments upon the demise of the alternate payee or the participant.

When the QDRO is drafted, points that need to be considered include the extent of retirement savings that should be regarded as marital property, tax implications for parties concerned, and compliance with state and federal laws.

The tax consequences, especially for the owner of the 401K and similar retirement plans, can be quite severe. A distribution of funds without a QDRO can leave the participant with more than his or her fair share of the tax liability, and these may include penalties for taking out the retirement fund before maturity. Your spouse may try to convince you to divide the 401K funds without a QDRO. It is not in your interests. You need a good lawyer to take you through the process and implications involved.

Pension sharing issues that come up in divorce cases can get very complicated without a QDRO. It addresses important issues such as pre-retirement and post-retirement benefits, survivor benefits, and much more. Without it, a canny lawyer can draft a division that would be grossly unfair to you.

Alex R. Hernandez Jr. provides services as attorneys for the alternate payee or the participant. In both scenarios, our endeavor is to ensure that the QDRO represents the interests of our clients. If the plan administrator requests any changes to the QDRO, we go through it and see that it is totally in compliance with the plan.

If you would like the help of our talented lawyers, contact one of our offices today!

Main Office, Corpus Christi:

921 N. Chaparral Suite 100
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

Phone: 361-454-1000

San Antonio Office:

700 N. St. Mary's Suite 1400
San Antonio, Texas 78205

Phone: 210-904-1000

Austin Office:

3800 N. Lamar Suite 200
Austin, Texas 78756

Phone: 512-543-1000

Edinburg Office:

204 E Cano
Edinburg, Texas 78539

Phone: 956-242-7000

Houston Office:

1700 Post Oak Boulevard 2 Blvd Place
Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-660-7018

Laredo Office:

1100 Matamoros Suite 200
Laredo, Texas 78040-7804

Phone: 956-242-7000

Dallas Office:

2911 Turtle Creek Suite 300
Dallas, Texas 75219

Phone: 972-363-6616

Victoria Office

101 W. Goodwin Suite 750
Victoria, Texas 77901

Phone 361-575-3101

Port Lavaca Office

402 W. Main St.
Port Lavaca, Texas 77979

Phone 361-552-3100

Brownsville Office

222 N Expressway 77 Suite 100
Brownsville 78521

Main Phone 956-242-7000

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